My dad and the atmosphere
My father is an environmentalist. He has been for my entire life. He's not "political" beyond voting, but works on the philosophy "think globally act locally".
He once told me of a revelation he had when seeing a photo of the earth as seen from space. He was struck with the realisation, "The earth is a closed system and the energy going into it is far greater than the energy coming out." I've never really known how the science works beyond simple physics and chemistry (and a little chaos theory) but I think there is truth in what my father said. The earth is a closed system. Every planet is, really, beyond the collision of heavenly bodies. What we free up from a store in the system stays in the system. That energy stays here on earth. There is no edge of the world for the sea and the air to fall into eternally. There isn't even leaching of carbon into space from the upper atmosphere.
Here's a Wiki of some basics on atmosphere.
Now to politics
While the climate change conference, COP15, was on there was there was a lot of stuff going on. Groups from around the world were taking action to pressure leaders. But there seemed to be a huge loss of momentum when it ended. The outcomes of COP15 did seem like a failure on the face of things. No binding targets were set and nothing seemed to have been accomplished.
But looking at COP15 from a different perspective the fact that it happened at all is proof of success of the climate justice movement. Added to that the unprecedented actions of the alliance of island states. Further, 350.org, tcktcktck.org, avaaz.org and many others have brought some of the science language into the political discussion and provided a rallying point for thousands of people all over the world. Here's some more reasons to be hopeful from tcktcktck.org. The leaders of the world are being held accountable. They are not done yet.
Cassie's last post talked about movement sustainability and having a long term strategy to maintain momentum.
So where to from here? The Friends of the Earth have put out an action alert to call Kevin Rudd before the first of February when he is set to place his voluntary emissions reduction targets on the table. You can see their page here.
Here's a step by step guide on how to make the call!